"I am shocked… shocked… that sequels are going on in here."
~ Claude Raines, Casablanca (paraphrased)
Before everyone rallied against remakes, everyone hated sequels. They took classic stories, or at least rather popular ones, and tacked on a second or third or fourth chapter that usually diluted the essence of the original. Did Macauley Culkin really need to learn the exact same lessons in Home Alone 2? Did Speed 2: Cruise Control really answer all your lingering questions from Speed 1? Would the world be a better place if we knew what happened to Rick and Ilsa after they said goodbye in Casblanca? That's what Cass Warner thinks. The granddaughter of a Warner Bros. studio co-founder is trying to put together a sequel to the timeless classic, considered one of the greatest films ever made, based on a decades-old script by one of the original screenwriters.
Casablanca 2, or rather, Return to Casablanca, was developed in the 1980s by formerly blacklisted (now, alas, deceased) screenwriter Howard Koch. The story follows the son of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), conceived off-screen in the original movie and raised by Victor Laszlo (Paul Heinreid) after Ilsa's death. Now 20 years old, the son of Rick – who has turned out not unlike his birth father, hardened but honorable – seeks to find his dad or at least as much information as he can, while teaming up with a guerilla group tracking down "Nazi-led outlaws" and falling for their female leader, a character supposedly inspired by Joan Baez.
The New York Post released the full story of Return to Casablanca's attempts to hit the big screen, including several abandoned other efforts and a reminder of the short-lived "Casablanca" television series in the 1950s. Cass Warner says that Warner Bros. turned down the pitch a year ago, but would be interested in revisiting the idea if she gets a strong director attached to the material. But who would be willing to take on such a potentially thankless project? Koch's screenplay may not require actors to take on the original, iconic roles from the classic film, but will anyone truly get excited about the sequel when it seems like such a dangerous proposition? Even the best films these days rarely reach the heights of the 1941 Best Picture winner, and Return to Casablanca would be inextricably compared to one of the greatest movie romances of all time.
Frankly, we doubt it will ever happen.
CraveOnline will be back with more Return to Casablanca news when we meet again.